Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

28 February 2014

Freedom of Association and Anti-Gay Discrimination

As I have made it clear many times, I do not believe that homosexuality is in any way immoral.  Morality as it applies to homosexual acts is very similar to the application of morality to heterosexual acts in many important respects, though clearly it is differentiated by the absence of concern for the potential of responsibility for creating a baby.  I have supported gay domestic partnership contracts in their governmental form and noted that government really has no business addressing the spiritual aspects of marriage for anyone.  It should only grant domestic partnership contracts to consenting adults with no more concern for their sex or numbers than is appropriate for a business partnership contract. Adult individuals have the right to form the voluntary associations and contracts of their choice.

I have long been embarrassed by the stand of many Republicans for whom I have often voted on their stance on the issue of homosexual discrimination by government.  Government has absolutely no business discriminating against homosexuals or bisexuals or heterosexuals.  Government must support the rights of every individual to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of their personal happiness.  This does not allow exceptions for homosexuals, bisexuals, or heterosexuals or many other characteristics individuals have or choices that they make.  Of course, for every Republican who embarrasses me in this regard, there are many more destructive and immoral choices made by almost every Democrat Socialist Party candidate.  Political candidates are never entirely rational and moral.

I argued for an end to the Clinton Defense of Marriage Act and for the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  I contributed to the Log Cabin Republican effort in accomplishing these tasks and praised their work.  I contributed to the Marylanders for Marriage Equality group when it was trying to promote the ballot initiative to equalize same-sex marriages in Maryland.  That campaign was successful, with about half of all Maryland Republicans voting for it.  Unfortunately, these groups are now turning to attempts to make it unlawful for businesses in the private sector to discriminate against gay people.  On this matter, I part ways with these groups, for reasons of general principle and because their effort actually undermines their own right to freedom of association in a very fundamental and harmful way.

I find it an immoral act for a business to refuse service to someone because they are homosexual or because a gay couple may be married. I prefer not to do business with such a business and I applaud others who would not do so also.  In doing so, I am discriminating in accordance with my values.  This personal choice and expression of my own values and moral code is not one that I have the right to impose on others by the initiated use of force.  It changes nothing morally if I join a majority of voters and elect politicians who will use the force wielded by government to accomplish this same goal of imposing my values and my morality on others.  They too have a right to choose their own values and their own moral code.  The fact that I disapprove of the choices some people make does not give me the right to marshal the force of government to suppress their choices of values and actions made in accordance with their moral values.

Good government cannot be achieved or evaluated without a rational reference to principle.  Legitimate government has one and only one purpose.  That purpose is to secure and protect the equal, sovereign rights of the individual to life, liberty, property, the ownership of one's own body, mind, and labor, and to the pursuit of one's own happiness.  Government cannot do this if it does not allow individuals the implied freedom of conscience and the freedom of association.  The individual in possession of his own mind establishes the principles and values of his conscience and he acts in his life upon those principles and values in forming associations with others.  Good government imposes very little in the way of morality on its citizens.  It only requires that they respect the equal rights of others by not initiating the use of force against others and by not defrauding them.

So if a person forms his moral principles and values in accordance with a Bible verse of the Old Testament such as Leviticus 20:13
Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.
without regard for the primitive, brutal nature of the times and the need of a small tribe to procreate madly in the interest of survival, it is not the role of good government to instruct this person on morality or to take actions against his discrimination in putting his moral beliefs into action, so long as his actions do not involve the initiated use of force or fraud.  Government should not require that the believer in Leviticus 20:13 not have an aversion for gay sex, though it must draw the line in not allowing the believer in this brutal dictum to kill or use other violence against those who have voluntary gay sex as adults.  In general, good government will no more prescribe morality than it will prescribe speech or dictate who one will marry or befriend.  Individuals have the freedom to choose their values and the moral principles by which they will live.  They enjoy freedom of conscience and freedom of association by choice.

These are freedoms are as critically essential to gay individuals as they are to heterosexual individuals.  Indeed, when the general principles of individual rights are not respected by government, it is various small minorities who usually suffer the most.  Historically, this has been clearly the case for homosexual and bisexual individuals.

Gay marriage is most often sold as a matter of equality, but that is a weak argument.  The response of some conservatives and other religious people is that everyone has the equal opportunity to marry someone of the opposite sex, so equality is maintained.  Of course, the freedom to enjoy one's own mind and body and to pursue one's own happiness may not be served by the equal opportunity to marry someone of the opposite sex.  In the context of rights, only the even-handed behavior of government is mandated.  Government must not differentiate the availability of equal domestic partnership contracts.  A person of religious belief or otherwise in the private sector, however, need not regard a domestic contract as the equivalent of a requirement of respect for that partnership that he might grant to other partnerships approved by his religion.  The private individual retains all rights to discrimination outside of governmental actions.

But the same-sex marriage advocates seemed rarely to worry about making a fundamental argument based on individual rights.  Too few of them have thought in general principles of the legitimate function of government and its very limited purpose.  Support for same-sex marriage has been based on a popularity contest riding the crest of a recent fad.  The broad and necessary right of a gay individual to choose his own values, who he wants to associate intimately with, who he wants as a domestic partner, and who else he will discriminate against for these purposes, is apparently unknown to him, with few exceptions.  Part of the problem is that most gay people do not think in terms of general good political principles because that would be inconsistent with the fact that most are too closely associated with the Democrat Socialist Party.  It is very difficult to find a valid and strong argument for freedom of conscience and freedom of association from the perspective of a collectivist!  Those arguments derive their strength from individualism and the clear and certain recognition that individuals are complex and highly differentiated.  Every individual has the right to life and the right to pursue his own happiness.  The nature of our lives, of our bodies and minds, and the paths to our happiness are rich in their variety.

I am discussing these fundamental issues of individual freedom pertaining to gay individuals now because of the recent hullabaloo over the Arizona state Senate Bill 1062 which allowed business owners to make association choices based on their religious beliefs.  Now my objection to that bill is that it is defective in limiting the freedom of conscience to that subset of conscience deriving from religious beliefs.  This is a common error in American law.  In reality, the individual has a broad freedom of conscience and it is wrong for government to limit that freedom to only its religious expressions.  I do not believe that when one owns a business, one gives up one's basic freedoms.  If that were so, then every business owner in exercising his right to earn a living and to own property for the purpose of doing so, would be losing other fundamental and necessary rights.  Our rights are broadly owned by each of us and we are rightly and properly deprived of them only when we initiate the use of force against others.

If a businessman is deprived of the right to discriminate against others for some choices or actions they take, can he long expect that he will be allowed to fire an employee who does not perform his job well.  Will he soon be forced to buy goods and services for his business from inept suppliers because a supplier might be a brother-in-law of the governor or represent an industry that makes large campaign contributions?  Must he sell items or services to some people preferred by the government at lower cost than to others?  Will he be allowed to fire an employee or not do business with a supplier who lies to him?  Businessmen have every bit as much need to discriminate among people based on their values as those who are not businessmen. An employee of a business has the right to judge his employer and if he finds him wanting, he is free to leave employment.  The consumer is free to discriminate against a businessman and not buy the goods and services he offers for sale, unless the service falls under ObamaCare, if you go along with one important aberrant claim on how limited our rights are.  In reality, our individual rights are not narrow, as American law tends to mistakenly take them to be, but they are broad, generous, and rich.

Legitimate and good government recognizes this fact.  The presumption of good government is that the freedom of the individual is sovereign and inalienable.  Only extremely rational reasons, agreed upon by most everyone, can be used to limit individual rights.  It does not impose the moral preferences bare majorities or a favored faction on others.  It must allow the individual the freedom to use his own mind and to act upon his own view of reality with only the most necessary limitation that we all have the equal right to do that.  None of us has the right to initiate the use of force to limit the choices and actions of others and we do not gain that right by manipulating a government to do this for us.  The presumption of individual freedom must be very strong in the healthy, individualist society.

Does the gay person refused service by a business suffer a measure of harm?  Yes he does.  He is done an injustice.  But, if the government forces a business owner whose moral beliefs dictate that he should not serve the gay person to serve him, then the business owner has also suffered a harm.  There is no way violating the rights of one person to prevent a harm or an injustice to another can be worked to prevent harm and injustice.  That course of action simply guarantees more harm and more injustice.  We have to expect in life that some people are going to make moral choices others of us will not like.  We cannot treat someone as a slave to be ordered about just because we believe they have done an injustice and that their morality is not as good as ours is.  No, in a free society one simply seeks out other adults who are willing to associate with us.  This is so for much the same fundamental reason that we do not force someone to associate with us for the purposes of sex.  Voluntary consent is critical in a free society.

While the modern Progressive Elitist does not believe freedom of speech and of the press is a broad right anymore and often wishes to limit them based on harm or hurt feelings, these rights are very broad.  It has served us well to enjoy a broad right to speak and write our minds.  It has served our society well to allow people to choose their own values, formulate or adopt their own moral ideas, and to manage their own lives.  While freedom of conscience and freedom of association are not always given the broad protections they should be given, for the most part in the non-business private sector they are tolerated by our government.  They should be equally tolerated in the business sector.  Indeed, they should be given a very committed and strong protection in all of the private sector in America.  If they are, gay individuals will prosper and flourish more certainly than if they are not.

25 February 2014

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

I am proposing the following constitutional amendments.  Many would not have been necessary had Americans understood and lived by the principles of the Framers of the Constitution.  Given decades of ignoring the Constitution and a huge excess of laws, regulations, and government spending, I think these amendments would go far in correcting the many problems we have with excessive, tyrannical government.

Good law requires that the welfare of every individual is increased by the law.  For this reason, it a super-majority of individuals do not approve of a law or a regulation, it should not become law or it presently law, it should be repealed.

My amendments are:

1) Amend the 16th Amendment authorizing an income tax to state that one and only one marginal tax rate will be applied to incomes equal to 75 percent of the median taxable household income and all higher taxable household incomes.

2) Repeal the 17th Amendment requiring the popular election of Senators.  Return to the original election of Senators by state legislatures.

3) Every adult owns his own mind, body, and labor and may use them, maintain them, and dispose of them as he pleases, so long as he does not initiate the use of force upon others.    Individuals have the right to protect their minds, body, and labor from violence.

4) Every adult has the right to the results of his labor or thought and to his property.  The goods he has made, the land he has improved, and the ideas he has originated and put into the form of a product or process are to be protected from theft by government.  No government taking of property is permitted except with just and reasonable compensation or because that property was used by the owner in the commission of a crime as determined by trial.  No government taking of property not used in the commission of a crime is allowed except for necessary and proper government use.

5) Every adult individual has the right to associate with others for the purposes of his choosing in voluntary relationships, contracts, and trading.  Adult individuals have the right to exercise their own judgment in their associations, contracts, and relationships with others.  Government will protect individuals from violence and fraud which has actually happened or is in the process of happening, but will not limit the freedom of association out of fear of potential future violence or fraud.

6) The government does not control or manipulate the economy or trade and commerce.  It provides a constant value supply of currency for government functions and general use, but does not prevent the circulation of other distinctive currencies.  It forbids state and local governments from interfering with trade, commerce, and travel by the People across state boundaries.

7) Individuals have the right of privacy so long as they are not engaged in acts of violence or fraud.  Information not available to the general public will not be collected and saved about any individual without a court order attesting to the reasonable likelihood that the individual is engaged in violent acts or fraud.  No means of obtaining private information on individuals will be used without due process.

8) Any law or act of Congress may be repealed by a vote of 40% or more of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The President may not veto such repeal votes.

9) Any law or act of Congress requires a vote of 60% or more of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The President may use his veto power on such acts of Congress.  The same 60% approval is required for all Executive Branch appointments reviewed and consented upon by the Senate.

10) Any member of Congress who has voted for a bill must attest in a written document that the member has read the bill and believes it to be in the interest of the general welfare, necessary, proper, and constitutional.

11) Any federal law may be repealed by act of 40% or more of the state legislatures.

12) Any regulatory rule by an executive branch agency of the federal government may be nullified by votes of 40% or more of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by 40% or more of the state legislatures.  Any new regulation produced by a government agency which will impose costs of $25 million or more must be specifically approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate with votes of 60% or more.  Any legislative attempt by Congress members to review any regulatory ruling which has the support of 40% of the members of that house cannot be kept from a vote in that house.

13) No federal law shall exempt members of Congress or federal government employees from its application to them, except by an explicit and recorded vote in favor of such an exemption by at least 80% of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

14) No member of Congress shall serve in Congress more than 12 years continuously and no more than 20 years in a lifetime.  After 12 years of service, there must be at least a ten-year period of non-service in the federal government before further service commences.

15) Senators and their staffs will be paid by the state they represent.  Senators will not receive any payment or benefits for services, nor will they receive any payments or benefits after the termination of their service, from the federal government.

16) Members of the House of Representatives will not receive any payments or benefits from the federal government after the end of their service in the House of Representatives.

17) Authorizations for the existence of each and every executive branch agency or department must be renewed by an individual, specific act of Congress every four years for that executive entity.  The budget for every such agency or department must be individually reviewed and approved at the same time.  Congress will also at that time review and evaluate the actions of that agency or department over the last four years and make that review available to the public, with only national security exceptions upon the vote of 60% or more of the members of each house of Congress.  If Congress does not authorize the agency or department and its budget individually on this four-year cycle, all operations of that agency or department must cease at that time.

18) No appropriations may be made by any Congress which are binding upon any future Congress.

19) Decisions of the federal courts may be overturned by a vote in both houses of Congress of two-thirds of the members of each house.  Federal court decisions may be overruled by two-thirds of the states by acts of their legislatures.

20) Annual federal government spending may not exceed a fixed percentage of the annual national gross domestic product except in times of declared war and then by no more than half the annual cost of that war unless both houses of Congress approve such additional spending with a vote of 80% or more.  The upper limit fixed percentage will initially be 18% and will be decreased by 0.5% with each new Congress, until it reaches 8% of gross domestic product. 

21)  Annual federal government spending may not exceed government revenues by more than 3% except in times of declared war and then by no more than half the annual cost of that war unless both houses of Congress approve such additional spending with a vote of 80% or more.

22) Total government debt may not exceed the annual national gross domestic product except by the vote of 80% or more of the members of each house of Congress.

23) No one may vote in a federal election unless they present a valid picture identification at the time of voting.  Only federal employees on duty outside the United States of America may cast their vote more than 2 weeks prior to the day of the election.  They may not vote earlier than 6 weeks prior to the election.

I plan to revisit these proposed amendments to discuss them in more detail.  I am sure that some of them need to be tuned up and I will welcome comments with suggestions on how to do that.

22 February 2014

The Clueless Federal Reserve in 2008

A meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve on 29 - 30 January 2008 two months after the Great Socialist Recession began in early December 2007 was pretty sure that
  • The USA would avoid recession.
  • Export growth in 2008 and 2009 would be at a rate of 7.25% both years.
  • Reductions in the Federal Reserve interest rates would return full employment by 2010.
This group that included Bernanke, Geithner, Yellen, and many other top Federal Reserve leaders was perfectly clueless.  As we all know, the USA not only did not avoid recession, that recession was two months old at that time and would continue even by the government's self-aggrandizing determination through June 2009.

US exports decreased sharply in 2008 and at the end of 2009 they were still below 2007 levels.  Finally, despite drastic cuts to essentially zero in the Federal Reserve interest rate, we have not come close to a recovery to full employment as of January 2014, let alone by 2010.

Federal regulatory agencies and commissions rarely do know what they are doing.  This clueless state is the general state of the Government bureaucracy and of the independent organizations it sets up.

21 February 2014

Which Americans Disapprove of Despotic Presidential Actions?

As I frequently note, good government only results when Americans adhere to rational principles that define the purpose of legitimate, very limited government.  Those good American Principles are defined in the Declaration of Independence and mandated in the Constitution quite well, though those principles are no longer well-understood by most Americans.

Among the basic principles of good government is the principle that all Americans must obey legitimate laws.  This includes the President and the members of Congress.  Another very good principle is that the executive charged with executing the laws does not make the laws.  That function is very clearly and properly assigned to the legislature, our Congress.  The President's oath of office requires him to protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution and to faithfully execute the laws passed by Congress.

Obama repeatedly and habitually violates his oath of office, thumbs his nose at the Constitution and now at the Congress which is no longer entirely under his control.  He assures us that he can do anything he wishes to do and is entirely unconstrained by the Constitution.  As is the habit of convinced socialist leaders, he is sure the laws only apply to others and not to him.  He follows the path of many a socialist in assuming despotic powers over the people of his country.

What is the opinion of the People about this despot?  Well first off, the latest Rasmussen weekly poll says that 48% of the People overall approve of Obama's job as President.  Yet, when Fox News polled the People on what they thought of Obama's going around Congress and changing the laws by executive orders and with executive branch regulation changes based on exceedingly creative interpretations of laws in ways never imagined by the Congresses that passed those laws, 74% of the People disapproved of that very critical usurpation of powers.  Though 74% disapproved, many of them clearly fail to recognize how important it is to oppose such despotic acts, since 48% approve of his overall job performance.

Now it is popular among libertarians and Objectivists to claim that it does not matter a wit whether Republicans or Democrats control the government.  If this is true, then nearly equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats ought to be opposed to presidential usurpation of powers not assigned to the office in the Constitution.  Yes, when a Democrat is President, slightly more Republicans will oppose such despotic acts and when a Republican is President, slightly more Democrats will oppose despotic presidential actions.

The Fox News poll found that 93% of Republicans opposed Obama's despotic acts, 80% of Independents opposed them, and only 54% of Democrats opposed them.  Very interestingly, when asked to set aside their beliefs in how our American government was supposed to work, the People overall no longer opposed presidential despotism by 74%, but that opposition fell to a mere 60%.  Clearly many Americans would rather not have their government limited by the Constitution and do not mind having a despotic ruler.

So, removed of the constraint of how they think the American government works, those who disapprove of a despotic presidential model among Republicans falls from 93% to 90%.  Independents disapproval falls 14% from 80% to only 66% disapproval.  Democrats show their general contempt for the Constitution and their love for despotism by dropping their disapproval from only 54% to a mere 31%, a drop of 23%!  The majority of Democrats just want to be told by a Supreme Leader what to do and they will do it.

To rephrase the attitude of most Democrats, if they could have their druthers, they would happily be slaves.  Most Democrats would do away with the Constitution.  Most Democrats are less than half as much inclined to oppose despotic rule as most Independents and only about one-third as likely to oppose it as Republicans.

Like it or not libertarians, the Republicans are Patriots with respect to the American Principle of government limited to the protection of individual rights compared to the Democrat traitors.
Many Republicans are highly flawed, but they are not despot lovers.  This is why far more libertarian voters are more aligned with the Republicans than with the Democrats.  This is why I usually vote for a Republican and never for a Democrat.  I am very strongly opposed to being a slave to any despot.

There are some very significant differences between Republicans and Democrats.

11 February 2014

Mann v. Steyn to Determine if Opinion Contrary to Government Science is Permitted

Michael Mann, of the infamous hockey stick global temperature plot and the ClimateGate e-mails, is suing Mark Steyn, National Review, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute for defamation because they claimed such things as that he had "molested and tortured data."  I have made similar claims, so I have an immediate interest in the outcome of this case.

Until now, Americans have been free to question the intention and the intellect of others.  Only if they maliciously made up false claims could they be sued for defamation.  It is hard to maintain freedom of speech unless one has a very broad range over which one can oppose the actions and opinions of others.  It would have seemed obvious that Mann's lawsuit would have been rejected by the courts.  However, the DC Superior Court has accepted the case, saying that
The CEI Defendants' persistence despite the EPA and other investigative bodies' conclusion that Plaintiff's work is accurate (or that there is no evidence of data manipulation) is equal to a blatant disregard for the falsity of their statements.
If this opinion is upheld, it will be against the law to disagree with any government agency that claims the umbrella of science.  One will not be allowed to claim that anyone on the government's side of the issue is incompetent or is wrapping up his quest for political power in a veneer of science using falsified data.  Of course this is just what the catastrophic man-made global warming alarmists are doing, with a close collaboration in the dishonest enterprise between many climate scientists and many government agencies.

As Robert Tracinski has noted in the Tracinski Letter of 10 February 2014:
Mann has recently declared himself to be both a scientist and a political activist. But in attempting to intimidate his critics and suppress free debate on global warming, he is violating the fundamental rules of both science and politics. If it is a sin to doubt, then there is no science. If it is a crime to dissent, then there is no politics.
Mann vs. Steyn may be the trial of the century. It may determine, not merely whether the environmentalists can shut down industrial civilization, but whether they can shut down the independent thinking of skeptical dissidents.
I added the emphasis in the quote to a particularly pleasing turn of phrase.

I will remind you that I just made this statement on 8 February 2014:
There is almost nothing in the government-managed record of temperatures that one can believe in any more.  The record is highly fudged and the fudgers have no idea themselves what string of changes they made to the data, whether as to how often, how much, or why.  But, those changes appear to systematically be motivated by attempts to prove the hypothesis that man's use of fossil fuels was somehow causing a catastrophic global warming.
Perhaps I will escape a lawsuit because I did not name one person as responsible for this anti-science and dishonest record.  In fact, many people are responsible for this evil activity, so they will have to divide up the defamation if they accuse me of calumny.  Will GISS, NOAA, or the EPA sue me for saying that much of what they claim is science is no such thing and is naught but garbage?

Perhaps the next move will be to make any disputant with a government agency subject to defamation claims, at least if they question the competence or the motives of the agency.  Since so many of the agencies are incompetent and maliciously motivated, I can see many suppressing lawsuits in our future if the federal courts do not decide to protect those who have disputes with these agencies when they wrap themselves in a thin cloak of "science."  The Invisibility Cloak so sought by many government agencies will become a pretense of science and in the name of that, they will wield the Hammer of Thor upon Americans.

09 February 2014

Philadelphia Taxes Bloggers

Philadelphia charges local bloggers $50 a year or $300 a lifetime for a city business license if they make any money, no matter how little, from their blogging website.  This applies to money made from ads or from donations.

Cities can be very nasty.  I cannot see much to recommend Philadelphia post 1930.

Governmental Exaggeration of the Increase in Global Temperature

The federal government has systemically increased the global surface temperature record to suit its purpose of claiming that catastrophic man-made global warming has occurred.  Among examples I have pointed out in the past are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for instance.  Steven Goddard at Real Science has just posted an interesting comparison of the surface temperature record used by James Hansen in 1981 with that claimed by GISS now.  He took the two sets of data and normalized them to various dates to show how they differed over other periods of time.  The plot I like the most is the normalization to 1895 which I show below with the black line the data Hansen used in 1981 and the red line the newer, adjusted data of GISS:

Note that the data taken from 1880 to 1940 has curious changes, but no large and continuing differences from the data used earlier.  This would seem to be a concession that the 1880 to 1940 data had only small errors in it.  Then strangely the data from 1940 to 1980 must have originally been very bad and required a large upward adjustment of the temperature record by GISS.  Now one possible reason for an increasing and large adjustment might be a rapidly growing human population that would cause temperatures at recording stations to be falsely elevated when they were too near high population areas.  But the urban heat island correction to such a problem requires that an increasing temperature correction be subtracted from the record, not added to it.

So what is the reason for this positive addition to the surface temperature record?  Well, there is reason to believe it is simply to eliminate the cooling that broadly occurred between 1940 and 1980 when the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was increasing.  This was not good for the claim that man's use of fossil fuels was causing a catastrophic rise in surface temperatures, just as the present failure of the temperature to rise in the last 17 years is also an embarrassment to that hypothesis. 

Steven Goddard produces an e-mail from Tom Wigley to Phil Jones that points to a non-scientific reason for the adjustment reminiscent of a high school student fudging results in a laboratory report to get the expected answer from a botched experiment.

So why is this important?  For one thing, Tom Wigley was a member of the UCAR team.  This outfit describes itself on its website today as:

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is a consortium of more than 100 member colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences. Our members set directions and priorities for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which UCAR manages with sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Through our community programs, UCAR provides innovative services in support of the community's education and research goals.
Phil Jones was the head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK, before his shenanigans revealed by ClimateGate cost him his job.  Phil Jones was a principal coordinator of the science that was incorporated into the first four IPCC reports backing the theory of catastrophic man-made global warming.  So, Tom Wigley of the UCAR climate research coordinating group for all government-funded climate research in the US was scheming with the head of the very important Climatic Research Unit in the UK to fraudulently produce more evidence for their pet theory, as they were being encouraged to do by their governments.  UCAR was and is essentially a propaganda unit charged with also keeping government-funded researchers in-line by setting "directions and priorities" in collusion with the National Science Foundation.

There is almost nothing in the government-managed record of temperatures that one can believe in any more.  The record is highly fudged and the fudgers have no idea themselves what string of changes they made to the data, whether as to how often, how much, or why.  But, those changes appear to systematically be motivated by attempts to prove the hypothesis that man's use of fossil fuels was somehow causing a catastrophic global warming.

08 February 2014

Still No Jobs Recovery in the Great Socialist Recession

The January 2014 jobs report is out from the BLS.  Ignoring the unemployment rate, which is meaningless given the many people who have given up on finding a job in this never-ending Great Socialist Recession, the number to focus on is the employment to population ratio.  Let us examine the history of the employment to population ratio for Januaries going back to January 2007, before the sharp increase in energy prices and the subsequent financial failures.

Note that the lowest employment to population percentage was 57.6% in January 2011, prior to which our government was telling us that the employment situation was well into recovery from the recession which they had declared over much earlier than that in June 2009.  Now, in January 2014, the employment percentage is a miserly 58.1% according to the BLS.  In fact, it is really 58.0% on the same basis that the earlier employment numbers are given.  In March 2013, the BLS recategorized some workers who work in the home from the farm sector to the non-farm sector.  That re-categorization caused an artificial increase in the employment to population ratio, giving the government a desperately needed apparent increase in jobs.

So let us examine how far the jobs recovery has occurred in this never-ending recession.  The present 58.0% is an employment to population ratio which is only 0.4% higher than that of the worst January of the entire recession.  Since the drop in the employment ratio from January 2007 prior to the recession to January 2011 at the depth of the jobs recession was 5.0%, the extent of a jobs recovery is

0.4% / 5.0% = 0.08.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.  In the 4.5 years since the government says the recession ended, the jobs recovery has managed only to recover 0.08 of the lost employment to population ratio.  This is pathetic.  It is a terrible misrepresentation to say we are in a jobs recovery.  We are in a deep jobs depression and for all intents and purposes the jobs situation has been stuck in a deep pit.  Perhaps a pit with a slightly sloping bottom, but so what!  Those who claim an 8% jobs recovery over four and a half years is a recovery should be scorned.  They should be laughed out of town.

The Progressive Elitists surrounding Obama and backing his anti-business policies look down upon most Americans as people who are unable to choose their own values and manage their own lives without strong controls placed on them by these same Progressive Elitists.  They are sure they know better than most of us Americans how to manage the economy and all aspects of our need to earn a living.  They hold us in scorn and look down on us in the worst possible way.  Some of them even think the recession and such problems as high energy prices are a good thing, because of their exaggerated belief that mankind's standard of living comes at the expense of the environment.

Most of us are prepared to have the results of our work judged by those we work with, work for, sell to, and compete with.  Let us hold them to a standard that measures them by the results they achieve.  If they tout their success with a 8% jobs recovery and expect us to ignore the 92% of the recovery denied to us and the private sector due to their interference, we should turn the scorn table on them.  We must evaluate them as catastrophic failures in governance.  We must see that big government cannot produce jobs as they claimed it could.  We must see the government must get out of the way or it will keep us from creating the jobs we have proven over and over that we can create for ourselves.

The Progressive Elitists and Obama keep saying "We did not build that."  Well, we used to and we will again, if only we will get them out of our way.  Throw the Bums Out!

07 February 2014

Representative John Sarbanes Proposes Law to Control Free Speech

The Representative of my incredibly gerrymandered Congressional District in Maryland is the socialist John Sarbanes, son of the former Maryland Senator.  He has just sent out a letter to his constituents in which he complains that:
In the 2012 election cycle alone, big interests such as the oil and gas industry and Wall Street contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to Congressional campaigns and equally vast sums to lobbying groups. Meanwhile, upwards of $1.3 billion poured in from Super PACs and “dark money” groups that float outside the reaches of our campaign finance laws.
 He has just proposed the following new law:
That’s why I am introducing the Government By the People Act.  This sensible and straightforward piece of legislation will do the following.

First, it will encourage the participation of everyday Americans in the funding of campaigns by providing a refundable $25 My Voice Tax Credit.  This will bring the voices of the broad public into the funding side of campaigns and democratize the relationship between money and speech.

Second, the bill will establish a Freedom From Influence Matching Fund to boost the power of small-dollar contributions.  To be eligible for these matching funds, a candidate must agree to a limit on large donations and must demonstrate broad-based support from a network of small-dollar contributors.  Amplified by the Freedom From Influence matching fund, the voices of everyday Americans would be just as powerful as the voices of the big donors.

Third, the Government By the People Act will provide candidates with an opportunity to earn additional resources in the home stretch of a campaign so that the voices of the people are not completely drowned out by Super PACs and other dark money interests.  In the wake of the Citizens United decision, this kind of support is critical to ensuring that citizen-backed candidates have staying power.

We can pay for these changes just by closing a few of the tax and regulatory loopholes that are the decades-old legacy of special interest influence in Congress.  It’s only fair that those who are responsible for breaking the policy-making machinery in Washington should bear the cost of fixing it.
It is very strange that he did not mention such special interest groups as trial lawyers, teachers, labor unions, environmental groups, feminist groups, Black American groups, and Hispanic groups.  Will his legislation equally suppress their freedom of speech as will his attempt to make taxes more unfavorable for groups who do not always reliably support Democrats?  It is clear that the only way to get the taxes to pay for this is to attack businesses and milk them.  His legislation can hardly acquire the funding it needs from labor unions, non-profit environmental, feminist, Black, and Hispanic groups.  This proposal is a very clearly anti-business proposal and makes no attempt at all to control many special interest groups.  What it does is force businesses to fund anti-business special interests.

The reason government is controlled by special interests is because government is too large for the People to understand what it is doing and how to control it.  Special interests step into the power vacuum and take over.  The People are frustrated with this situation, yet many do not understand that inherent in excessive government is control by special interests.  Good government limits itself to protecting the rights of the individual and is much, much smaller and much, much easier for the People to understand and control.
Big Government cannot be for the people or by the people.  Many will reject it with disgust because it tries to dictate what values the individual may pursue and will micromanage their lives.  Many others will actually want it to do more for them, but will be frustrated by what it does and unable to figure out how to make it do what they think is right.  Big Government can never be loved or even tolerated by the People.  Their present disgust is entirely understandable.  John Sarbanes proposed law is nothing but a veil to hide the real problem: the excessive size and scope of governmental power.

06 February 2014

CBO Says 2.5 Million Jobs May Be Lost Due to ObamaCare

The Congressional Budget Office announced on 4 February that by 2024 the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs may be lost because of the so-called Affordable Care Act.  That act offers neither affordable medical care nor incomes upon which Americans can afford to live.  It is a cruel lie to call it the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  It is also an insult to the intelligence of Americans.  It is a hidden tax on work, which violates Obama's claim that he would not increase taxes on the Middle Class.  It is, however, a massive redistribution scheme, which Obama told Joe the Plumber he was intent on implementing.

Many Democrat Socialists responded with claims they are celebrating the fact that many people will have much more free time.  Of course, they are really celebrating because many more people will become dependent upon Big Government.

The hardship of the People is good for Democrat Socialists, so they work hard to see more and more hardship is distributed upon the American People.  The pretense of redistributing the income earned and developed by others is a cover for this actual increase in and redistribution of hardship.  This is why the War on Poverty has not reduced poverty in decades.  It is why all the talk about improving the education of children never results in children acquiring more learning skills, problem-solving skills, a desire to learn, or acquiring factual knowledge.  This is why the economic condition of Black Americans still leaves much to be desired.  The Democrat Socialists do not want to solve the problems they claim it is their purpose to solve using Big Government as the tool.  No, their power is dependent upon these problems remaining unsolved and remaining sore points that divide Americans.  For every pretense of help, there is a greater, less publicized, harm.

02 February 2014

Today is Ayn Rand's Birthday

Thank you Ayn Rand.

Thank you for defending:
  • Human life
  • Reason
  • Individuality
  • The right to live for one's own purposes in accordance with one's rational self-interest
  • The right to earn a living, to be productive and creative, to property and the fruits of one's labor, and the freedom of association with others for the purposes of one's choice

01 February 2014

Continued References to Economic Recovery Are Weird

Fewer Americans were employed in December 2013 than were employed in either December 2006 or December 2007.  The percentage of non-institutionalized adults employed both in December 2012 and December 2013 was far lower than in December 2006 and December 2007.

 Over and over we hear that the economy is recovering, albeit slowly.  We have heard this throughout 2012 and 2013.  But note that the percentage of working age Americans employed in December 2011, 2012, and 2013 has been stuck at 58.6%.  This is 4.8% below the employment percentage of December 2006, which was just before the sudden cost of oil increase in early 2007 and before the subsequent financial crisis in 2008.

This is an incredible degree of employment stagnation.  Yes, 58.6% is above the low 58.2% of December 2009, but the 0.4% increase relative to that low point is only a fraction of the total December 2009 loss relative to December 2006 of 0.4% / 5.2% = 0.077.  In other words, for all intents and purposes, from 2009 through 2013 the employment situation has been essentially unchanged and awful.

We need to have 11.843 million more jobs to have the same percentage employment we had in December 2006.  Because of the big government policies of George W. Bush prior to Obama, that December 2006 employment percentage was already lower than it had been in December 1999.  Our jobs stagnation problem actually began at the start of this century.

Apparently a government jobs program, consisting of
  • bailouts, 
  • stimulus programs, 
  • Food Stamp increases,
  • Social Security Disability increases,
  • Extended Unemployment Benefits, 
  • ObamaCare, 
  • Dodd-Frank and other financial regulations,
  • Tax increases,
  • Increased fossil fuel sourced energy costs (recently moderated by shale oil and gas increased production on private lands, while extensive federal land and off-shore oil and gas were denied development), and
  • Subsidized so-called green energy,
has not been very effective in increasing employment.

But then a program to take people out of the private sector workforce, to transfer money from the private sector to the government sector, and to limit the options of the private sector's entrepreneurs and consumers could have no other outcome.  It is not as though this sort of program has not been tried before and been found to fail disastrously.  But those who believe in the efficacy of big government will not learn from history.

As a result, we have had at least 5 years of a jobs depression.  Given Obama's wrongheadedness and pigheadedness, we are likely to see this continue for at least another 4 years.  Four years being 3 more years of Obama and one year for a more rational and less abusive President to return control of the economy to the private sector.